About 370 telecommunication base transmission stations (BTS) are still inoperable as a result of damages sustained during the two-year war in northern Ethiopia and security problems in other parts of the country, according to the state-owned telecommunications services provider, ethio telecom.
The transmission stations are network components that enable wireless communication between a device and a network. 35 percent, or 2,716 BTS stations, were inoperable in Tigray, Amhara, Oromia, Benishagul Gumuz, and other parts of the country out of a total of 7,861 BTS stations.
Ethio telecom recently reported that 85 percent of the stations, which primarily consist of antennas that relay radio messages, transceivers, duplexers, and amplifiers, were once again operational after undergoing all necessary maintenance and repairs.
Nonetheless, 370 stations remain inoperable.
Frehiwot Tamiru, the CEO of ethio telecom, stated that telephone communication and other services in the country’s northern and western regions remained inactive due to the destruction of telecommunication lines caused by heavy fighting.
“In making all the necessary efforts and maintenance, we brought many of the stations back into operation, but 370 are still not operational,” Frehiwot said. The CEO says that since maintenance needs a forex, those restoration efforts in Tigray, Amhara, Oromia, Benishagul Gumuz, and other parts of the country “were made in a short time and the rest goes as it is.”
Frehiwot reported last year that nearly 3,500 BT stations were damaged during the crisis. Approximately 3.67 billion birr in revenue were reportedly lost by the company as a result of the destruction. Multiple locations were also closed.
This week, in response to questions raised by Members of Parliament at the House of Peoples’ Representatives (HPR), Frehiwot boldly discussed the company’s wide range of projects and operations to expand telecom infrastructures and systems, improve the quality of service, and increase the community’s access to benefits.
Within six months of this fiscal year, the total number of ethio telecom subscribers reached 70 million. It has generated a total of 33.8 billion birr in revenue through the sale of 91 local and international products and services, including 50 new and 41 redesigned products and services.
In six months, Telebirr, ethio telecom’s digital financial services company, acquired over 27.2 million customers and processed 166.1 billion birr in transactions. It generated an income of 82.5 million birr.
The National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) recently announced that it will soon grant Safaricom Ethiopia a license to use M-Pesa to provide mobile money services.